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School board approves additional staff at Liberty Middle School

The West Fargo School Board unanimously approved Monday night a professional staffing request calling for 2.85 new full-time employees at Liberty Middle School.

Initial enrollments at Liberty Middle School have exceeded projections by approximately 70 students. This deluge of additional students saw class sizes increase to 30 or more students in many sections. The district prefers 25 or fewer students in each classroom.

The requested employees will be used to create two additional teams to compliment the two teams in place at Liberty, one for the seventh grade and one for the eighth. These teams will be structured as half-teams with approximately 50 students per team.

This setup calls for four employees in core curricular (math, science, social studies and language arts) areas and 2.25 additional employees in the encore areas.

“At Cheney, we would disperse the extra 30 students across their four teams, since that is only one or two more kids per teacher per period. You don’t really feel that,” business manager Mark Lemer said. “At Liberty, an extra 30 kids across two teams means there are four extra kids per teacher. Their enrollment has been pushed high enough that we can’t do it with just two teams.”

The total cost of the hires is $145,350 and will come out of the district’s general fund.

The board’s primary concern was how the school will handle the transition, since students are in their third week of school.

“That is our challenge,” superintendent David Flowers said. “We have worked on a letter that will go home this week to schedule parent meetings for next week to explain the situation. I think most parents will welcome the chance for students to be in smaller classrooms.”

The board also unanimously approved an agreement with the Packer Backers for a sponsor sign to support the construction of a concession stand at the Lodoen Soccer Complex.

The Packer Backers intend to replace the existing concession stand at the complex with a 12-foot by 16-foot structure to house concessions.

With the board’s approval, the Backers will utilize an advertising panel on the new stand to offset its $8,800 cost of construction.